Volume 30 - Article 32 | Pages 911-924 Author has provided data and code for replicating results

Quantifying paradigm change in demography

By Jakub Bijak, Daniel Courgeau, Eric Silverman, Robert Franck

Print this page  Send this article to a friend  Twitter

 

 
Date received:11 Oct 2013
Date published:25 Mar 2014
Word count:2436
Keywords:demographic paradigms, empiricism, Google books, history of demography, N-grams
DOI:10.4054/DemRes.2014.30.32
Additional files:readme.30-32 (text file, 916 Byte)
 demographic-research.30-32 (zip file, 12 kB)
 

Abstract

Background: Demography is a uniquely empirical research area amongst the social sciences. We posit that the same principle of empiricism should be applied to studies of the population sciences as a discipline, contributing to greater self-awareness amongst its practitioners.

Objective: The paper aims to include measurable data in the study of changes in selected demographic paradigms and perspectives.

Methods: The presented analysis is descriptive and is based on a series of simple measures obtained from the free online tool Google Books Ngram Viewer, which includes frequencies of word groupings (n-grams) in different collections of books digitised by Google.

Results: The tentative findings corroborate the shifts in the demographic paradigms identified in the literature -- from cross-sectional, through longitudinal, to event-history and multilevel approaches.

Conclusions: These findings identify a promising area of enquiry into the development of demography as a social science discipline. We postulate that more detailed enquiries in this area in the future could lead to establishing History of Population Thought as a new sub-discipline within population sciences.

Author's Affiliation

Jakub Bijak - University of Southampton, United Kingdom [Email]
Daniel Courgeau - Institut national d'études démographiques, France [Email]
Eric Silverman - University of Southampton, United Kingdom [Email]
Robert Franck - Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium [Email]

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

» Integrating uncertainty in time series population forecasts: An illustration using a simple projection model
Volume 29 - Article 43

» Reforging the Wedding Ring: Exploring a Semi-Artificial Model of Population for the United Kingdom with Gaussian process emulators
Volume 29 - Article 27